‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ – A Mid-Season(ish) Report

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The most recent episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, “Deals With the Devils,” -which is also its first since way back in early November, with “The Good Samaritan,” which ended on a big cliffhanger, being the last- was a nifty one, both answering a lot of questions and pointing the way forward for the series in general. As such, I thought it was high time for another look at where the show stands at the moment.

First of all, I really dug the neat structure of “Devils,” what with the whole approach of showing some of the events of the episode twice, from two different perspectives. We find out that when Coulson, Fitz and Robbie disappeared in that explosion they didn’t die, they quite literally became invisible, somewhat akin to what happened to Lucy, only where you could at least see Lucy, albeit somewhat like a ghost, no one could see- or hear- these three.

GABRIEL LUNA, CLARK GREGG, IAIN DE CAESTECKER

It’s because of this we see certain events twice, as we see them once from the other character’s perspectives, then again from Coulson, Fitz and Robbie’s. It’s particularly cool, as there are certain things happening which seem inexplicable before we realize on the second go-round that it’s actually the three causing them, and why they were doing it. This shift is signaled by a change in color tone, which helps separate the “new” events from the previous ones.

The reason for all this is that they are trapped between dimensions, which continues the show’s ongoing embrace of more magical elements, which, as I mentioned in previous articles, I really dig and feel has really enhanced and revitalized the show overall. As the three are in danger of being sucked down into another dimension altogether, they must work together to rectify the situation for obvious reasons.

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Complicating matters is the fact that Eli now has considerable powers, of the Molecule Man variety, which you better believe he uses to his advantage, including using them to create Dark Matter. May also connects him to the events of the premiere episode, when Chinatown gangsters were hired to steal the “ghost boxes.”

With Simmons off investigating why that Senator’s brother is trapped in a Terrigenesis cocoon, which shouldn’t have taken as long as it is taking, as it is a fairly quick process, May is forced to deal with things on her own terms, so she suggests they look to the Darkhold, which understandably doesn’t go over well with the others. Ultimately, she ends up having Aida look at it, or rather she volunteers to, likely because of Fitz.

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As an android, the Darkhold doesn’t affect her as it would humans, which is why no one else was willing to go near it, including Radcliffe. Ultimately, Aida is able to use it to make a gateway into which the “ghosts” go into and turn back into their normal selves again, sans Robbie. Robbie instead talks to the Spirit of Vengeance and makes him a deal: if he helps him defeat Eli, he’ll help him avenge all of his wrongs and settle all of his own scores, which the SOV agrees to.

It then leaves Mack’s body and goes back into Robbie’s, who then joins the others by going through the gate as well and becoming whole again. Robbie then asks Mack for his help going up against Eli, which he agrees to as well. Simmons also returns shortly thereafter, just as Fitz was about to get all up in Mace’s grill about it, which probably wouldn’t have been a good idea. They hug, no doubt sending all the ‘shippers’ hearts aflutter.

HENRY SIMMONS

On the downside, we see that Aida is continuing to mess around with the spells in the Darkhold, which can’t be good. So, obviously, going forward, we’ll have both a superpowered Eli to contend with, whatever is going on with the Senator’s brother in that cocoon to resolve and quite possibly an evil magical robot as well. Did this show just turn into “Westworld”? Lol.

All in all, I like all these developments. “Devils” was another solid episode in a season that has benefited immeasurably from the addition of Ghost Rider and the influx of more magical elements, which is one of the things I suggested they go even deeper into in my last article. Glad to see they have done just that. (We’ll just have to wait and see on the others.)

GABRIEL LUNA

While perhaps the show is leaning a bit too hard on the Ghost Rider thing to keep fans interested, I do think that, of all the things I mentioned in my last article, the one about featuring more stuff with the team working together as a whole is essential. We got some of that with “Lockup,” but then the show promptly split them up again. I realize that they’re trying to mix things up a bit, putting different people into different groups together to hopefully keep things interesting, but, at the same time, if it ain’t broke…

That said, overall, I’m really enjoying the season so far, and I look forward to what they have in store for us next. What say you? Any predictions for the future? Will the Senator’s brother emerge from the cocoon as a known character in the Marvel-verse? If so, who? What’s going on with Eli exactly? What will Aida get up to with the Darkhold? Sound off on this and more down below, and I’ll check back in sometime next month!